Closed store's oddities up for auction online

URBANA — The Buy-Sell-Trade store in Urbana didn't last for long.

The store, which opened at 105 E. University Ave., U, last June, closed later that year, and its parent company, Springfield-based THR & Associates, filed for bankruptcy Sept. 10.

Now the contents of the store — and six other retail and warehouse locations — are being auctioned off online.

Nokomis-based Aumann Auctions was hired by the bankruptcy trustee, Jeffrey Richardson, to conduct the auctions.

Kelly Aumann, a spokeswoman for the auction business, called the sale "the largest personal property auction in Illinois history."

The auction of the Buy-Sell-Trade merchandise runs through March 14, and there are separate end dates for auctions involving the six other locations.

When the Urbana store opened last summer, it touted a range of oddities on display, including a gold-framed pair of Elvis Presley's sunglasses.

Those glasses are up for auction, as are a signature of Albert Einstein and Johnny Cash's handwritten lyrics to "Chinky Pin Hill." As of midday Wednesday, the top bid on the Elvis sunglasses was $1,050.

THR & Associates did business under more than two dozen names, according to the bankruptcy filing. The names included Treasure Hunter's Road Show, International Gold Silver and Diamond Buyers, J. Parsons, International Gun Collectors Association, and Vintage Jewelry and Timepiece Collectors.

Assets up for auction include military antiques, coins and currency, sports memorabilia, watches and jewelry, musical instruments and taxidermy mounts.

Online catalogs of the merchandise appear on the auction firm's website, http://www.aumannauctions.com.

Successful bidders can pick up their items at the Urbana store March 15 and 16, with store fixtures and shelving available for pickup only on March 16.

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bettycat wrote on March 07, 2013 at 12:03 pm

I would have loved to have browsed this store, and probably would have bought plenty of cool things that I could otherwise live without.  Sadly, I never even heard of this place.  And neither has anyone else I've mentioned it to.  Perhaps that contributed to its demise?

rainhorizon wrote on March 07, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Nope, the owner being a crook and a shyster led to the demise of this "business". This guy ran a place in Champaign in 2000 called the International Toy Collector's Association--another one of his outfits that scammed honest people out of their collectibles, antiques and valuables by posing as appraisers at "roadshows" around the country, buying people's valuables for next to nothing then reselling them for a huge profit through Ebay and auction houses.  The real story of this business and the many others he ran is detailed here http://www.illinoistimes.com/Springfield/article-10283-the-roadshow-is-over.html.  Good riddance, although no doubt he will resurrect himself in some new unsavory venture the first chance he gets.